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ASP Sessions Being Cleared/Modified

Posted on 2016-08-20
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Last Modified: 2016-08-26
Hi there,

I have a website using classic ASP and it currently uses a lot of session variables to keep track of what is being done on several pages.  At one point, I redirect my website to PayPal to process a payment and then get PayPal to redirect back to my website.  For some reason though, it appears that the session variables get cleared/modified when the redirection to my website occurs.  Is there any reason for this?  I need to ensure these variables stay in place in the browser until the user either logs out of my website or closes the browser.  Any suggestions??

Thank you,
- Christian
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Question by:Christian Palacios
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LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 41763795
Are you using 'https' for the pages both before and after connecting to Paypal?
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Author Comment

by:Christian Palacios
ID: 41763815
No, my website doesn't use HTTPS.  Is that clearing my sessions?
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LVL 83

Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Baldwin earned 350 total points
ID: 41763838
Switching from 'http' to 'https' can have side effects like that.  Browsers don't carry the session data, only the cookie that identifies the session.  I would look at the cookies before and after the Paypal pages to see if they are changing.
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Author Comment

by:Christian Palacios
ID: 41763843
Thank you.  I understand you have to enable cookies in your browser first.  Do all browsers have cookies turned off by default?  Do you have a way to check if a browser's cookies are disabled so I can check that?

Thanks!!
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LVL 52

Assisted Solution

by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 150 total points
ID: 41763862
Change your session variables to cookies and that will solve this issue and others.  Sessions in asp are in memory.  If RAM max's out, the worker process crashes and resets sessions.  If you set cookies, your app will be more stable as far as being able to track a person when they leave and come back.

I have an article on using cookies for log in, then tracking those cookies in your database.  This opens up the doors to a lot more possibility.  https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18259/User-Log-In-Using-A-Token.html

It should be very easy to move from session http://www.w3schools.com/asp/asp_sessions.asp to cookies http://www.w3schools.com/asp/asp_cookies.asp.   You only need to change session("something") = "abc" to response.cookies("something")="abc" to set and to get change  var1 = session("something") to var1 = request.cookies("something")
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Author Closing Comment

by:Christian Palacios
ID: 41772156
Thank you for your help!  Switching to cookies solved my problem!
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